Michael Earp is a non-binary writer and bookseller living in Naarm (Melbourne, Australia), the editor of Kindred: 12 Queer #LoveOzYA Stories and contributor to Underdog: #LoveOzYA Short Stories.
Michael Earp is a non-binary writer and bookseller living in Naarm (Melbourne, Australia), the editor of Kindred: 12 Queer #LoveOzYA Stories and contributor to Underdog: #LoveOzYA Short Stories. Their next anthology, Everything Under The Moon: Fairy tales in a queerer light, is released October, 2023. They have a teaching degree and a Masters in children’s literature and have worked between bookselling and publishing for twenty years as a children’s literature specialist. Their role managing The Little Bookroom saw them named ABA Bookseller of the year in 2021. Their writing has also appeared in Archer, The Age, PopMatters, The Victorian Writer and Aurealis.
Michael Earp is a non-binary writer and bookseller living in Naarm (Melbourne, Australia). They are editor of, and contributor to Kindred: 12 Queer #LoveOzYA Stories (2019) and Everything Under The Moon: Fairy tales in a queerer light (2023) with another anthology coming from Fremantle Press in June 2024. Their writing has also appeared in Archer, The Age, PopMatters, The Victorian Writer, Aurealis and Underdog: #LoveOzYA Short Stories (2019). For twenty years they have worked between bookselling and publishing as a children’s and young adult specialist. In 2021, they were awarded the Australian Booksellers Association Bookseller of the Year for their role managing The Little Bookroom, the world’s oldest children’s bookstore. A passionate advocate for LGBTQIA+ literature for young people, they established the #AusQueerYA Tumblr to catalogue all Australian young adult fiction containing queer content and characters. Representation of all people in the literature available to readers of all ages is the ethos that motivates their entire career. They have a Masters in Children’s Literature and a Bachelor of Education in Early Childhood Teaching and previously served as committee chair for the #LoveOzYA campaign. Tea is the source of all their power.
I’m a writer and bookseller of children’s and young adult books living and working in Naarm on the lands of the Wurundjeri and Bunurong people of the Kulin Nations. I recognise that Aboriginal sovereignty has never been ceded and pay respect to Elders past, present & emerging. Always was, always will be Aboriginal land.
I am the editor of the collection Everything Under the Moon: Fairy tales in a queerer light (Affirm Press, October 2023), Kindred: 12 Queer #LoveOzYA Stroies (Walker Books Australia, 2019) and contributor to Underdog: #LoveOzYA Short Stories (Black Inc/Underdog Books, 2019).
I’m repped by Linda Epstein at Emerald City Literary Agency.
After growing up on NSW’s Central Coast, I moved to Sydney when I was eighteen and landed a job at Kinokuniya, a large city bookstore just as it was opening. This is where my book addiction began. Eventually, I found my way to Borders, another large city bookstore and became the Children’s Specialist.
Then, after seven years of bookselling, I changed the way I sold them, selling them to Bookstores, instead. In 2009 I began working as a sales and marketing representative for Walker Books Australia, one of the leading children’s publishers. In that role, I was invited to move to Melbourne. Having never lived outside of Sydney(ish) areas, it was a golden opportunity. My day job was essentially talking about children’s books all day long. It’s not a bad gig, let me tell you.
I’ve studied some stuff too! My undergraduate degree was through the Institute of Early Childhood at Macquarie University in Early Childhood Teaching. I didn’t end up teaching at all. But the main objective was to learn about children so I could write about and for them. During my undergraduate degree, I completed an Honours Thesis, submitting a picture book as a creative work and an exegesis investigating the process through which it was constructed.
I completed my Master of Arts in Children’s Literature at Macquarie University in 2014. My thesis was a creative work again, this time a Young Adult novel and the exegesis that went with it. It’s a novel which explores a teenager’s understanding of religion in relation to his own homosexuality. This process gave me many wonderful insights into literature for young people.
In 2016 I jumped the counter again, and for a while, I was the manager of the delightful children’s bookshop, The Younger Sun, in Yarraville. I moved from there in 2018 to The Little Bookroom, the oldest dedicated Children’s Bookshop in the world. It was a glorious place to work as manager, buyer, and education consultant. In 2021, I was recognised as the Australian Booksellers’ Association’s Bookseller of the Year, something I’m especially proud of.
At the end of 2022, a new challenge presented itself. I jumped the counter again and joined the newly formed sales team of Affirm Press. This was the first time since my job at Kinokuniya, twenty years prior, that I’ve had to concern myself with books for grown-ups! I’m loving being back on the road, visiting bookshops again and I’m leaning into my writing and editing work with a lot more gusto.
Along the way, I also created #AusQueerYA to catalogue all the YA titles by Australian authors with LGBTQIA+ content.
I’ve been invited to speak at many different festivals and conferences over the years, and I am available to be booked for speaking on anything surrounding children’s and YA literature from the process of writing, publishing and bookselling, to queer literature and everything in between. Just contact me
Here are a few interviews I’ve done: